having a tough time choosing rounds or flats for reggae/punk

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by willg95, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. i just. i don't know. i currently have the half rounds from d'addario on my schecter. i really loved how they felt and sounded but after about a month they just sound dull unless i play them hard and no matter how i adjusted the sound on both my amp and bass i hated the sound. and when i play them hard, they clack on the frets and it sounds crappy.

    now i really want a tone that cuts through like rounds. but i don't want to give up the boomy low end which is necessary for a good show for us. i'm not really looking for a cutting sound that's super edgy like in metal or punk even. kind of like a chili peppers tone in the song "Snow." it's boomy but there's a distinctive tone to it also. but if i get the sound that boomy on my setup i lose all of my tone. any string suggestions? or maybe even something else?
  2. eyecandy


    Jul 28, 2009
    reggae certainly needs a deep dub sound where you can get from flatwounds however you can get them with nickels rounds and roll of the treble a bit...
  3. makkE


    Jan 19, 2010
    Normandie, France
    Maybe try some d'addario chomes - brightest flatwound they say.

    It's got lots of fundamental, but also distinctive highs and mids.
    Pick gets you a great punchy sound(punk), play them with fingers for reggea - might work (it certainly does for me).

    I don't know how halfrounds age, but I suspect if you dislike them after a month, flats might not be ideal for you after all - though chromes keep their "zing" quite some time. So maybe rather what eyecandy said - besides, in "Snow" it sounds more like rounds with the treble rolled off to me, rather than halves or flats.
  4. I prefer Daddario Nickle rounds for punk stuff, after they're broken in they settle into a nice tone that can be either deep or punchy depending on where you pick, eq, etc.
  5. i'm thinking i might stick with the rounds. got some heavy nickel wound d'addarios on it .50 gauge. the heavier gauge in strings may have been what i was missing. still got my boomy lows with a nice trebley punch in it. plus my other strings were light .40 gauge. but i really love how flat wounds feel and it's easier to do crazy fills and fancy stuff with flats. but there's no point in doing those things if no one can pick it out in the music :( plus i'm also one of those bassists guilty of using a pick during our heavier songs. which i know is frowned upon by some here :spit: and i'm sure flat wounds + picking would = no haha.
  6. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's fine to use a pick on your flats. Don't feel guilty about it!
  7. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Many of the classic rock sounds were achieved with a pick and flatwounds. It's a very cool sound, I generally like it better than a pick and roundwounds.
  8. JSK5String


    May 19, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    +1 I'm in a classic rock cover band and I play my p strung with Chromes into my VT Deluxe with an extra heavy (2.0) pick. It sounds, well... classic. :D
  9. No hate on using a pick, I use a pick live simply because not using a pick just means you lose about a third of your potential volume. It just cuts through the mix better instead of jhust being a presence. It's always funny to come in on a group of inexperienced players talking bad about bass players who use a pick and I drop on them that I use a pick and they're putting their foot in their mouth. It's not a skill thing for me, I can play the snot out of a bass finger picking, it's a tone thing and personally I think it's stupid to limit your tonal diversity simply because you're too cool to use a pick. It's amazing what you'll get by changing where you pluck and what you pluck with, there's so many combinations out there.
  10. precision punk

    precision punk

    Mar 15, 2009
    Take a look at this Pink Floyd video. Roger is using flats with a pick and is getting a nice aggressive tone at around 6:15 that could work with a little distortion for punk and for the dub just drop the pick and use you're fingers and maybe a slight bass boost. If that doesn't do the job maybe you could pick up another used bass and put rounds on the Schecter and flats on the other. I was having the exact same problem so I bought a Fender H1 Precision to put flats on and have Rotosound rounds on my American Standard Precision.

  11. I use my fingers because I can't play with much dexterity using a pick. I realize I could probably fix this by practicing with a pick, but it gets old fast when I can't even play 8th notes.
  12. I switched from guitar and so I already knew how to pick pretty well, it's just a little different on bass.
  13. bassdaddyfive


    Feb 12, 2009
    Kenosha Wi.
    Try Ken Smith SS Custom balanced. Hex cores give you big bass and a smooth top with some cut. I use them on the basses I don't have flats on.
  14. thanks for the replies everyone. sorry i haven't been on a computer in a few days. i do know that song from pink floyd and that was actually one reason i wanted to try flats. but the bass could have a lot to do with his tone also. and when we go into our heavier stuff. it's not like a "sex pistols" kind of punk. it's a pretty hard left turn. like almost screamo with a classic kind of feel yet. if that makes sense.

    i may very well give flats another try. do you guys think the gauge has a lot to do with the tone other than how boomy it is? because the .50 rounds i have on now are way bassier at a lower volume than the .40 halfrounds i had on them.
  15. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I think that gauge has more to do with your touch than the tone. If you can play with a light touch, use a lighter gauge and you will be able to get a bigger range of tones and more mids/highs, not to mention a bigger dynamic range when you dig in.
  16. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    Talkbass has converted me to using flats for everything I play. Also I love the pick/flats tone.

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